How can data mapping tools be used to reveal opportunities and risks to communities, fostering community buy-in for issues like climate justice?

Answered on: May 2, 2024
Answered by:
Danielle Getsinger Danielle Getsinger Chief Executive Officer Community Lattice

In our experience, communities already know what the data is going to reveal. They understand the risks and opportunities of most issues related to their built and natural environment; however, many communities don’t have data to defend their claims or data models to describe trends they may be observing. 

Data tools are critical for presenting information on an accessible platform and in a common language that communicates complex and interconnected risk and opportunity factors to a wide range of stakeholders. Further, visualization of this data is powerful in its ability to facilitate discussion and analyses by diverse audiences, including community members, policymakers, government officials, and industry professionals. Data tools start to bridge the data divide by making data visualization accessible and scenario analysis easy for communities. 

The final step of bridging the data divide requires meaningful, hands-on community engagement which, in turn, will build consensus and foster opportunities to co-design solutions with those most impacted by the issue(s). Through community-engaged analysis of issues, like climate justice, using data mapping tools, we can gain a deeper and more balanced qualitative and quantitative understanding of risk and opportunity to foster a shared understanding of needed interventions.

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